Game of Thrones may be HBO’s most successful show ever in terms of raw numbers and cultural ubiquity. Fans can’t get enough of the Game of Thrones world and its unique and intricate characters. Thanks to a recent announcement by HBO, fans may soon be getting more Game of Thrones, much more. In fact, in early May this year, HBO announced that it was hearing pitches from various writers for as many as four (scratch that, five?) different prequel spinoffs to the main series.
We’ll most likely get them one at a time. However, there is no shortage of source material for potential prequels and spinoffs to draw from. The lore and history written by George R. R. Martin himself and contributing authors for The World of Ice and Fire is exhaustive and far reaching. The opportunities for more great stories and fantastic characters are endless.
Here are some of the stories we deeply hope showrunners will take into account for the spinoffs. From providing more general background, to providing us with more cutthroat fight scenes, here are the 15 Events And Stories We Want to See in the Game of Thrones Spinoffs.
15 ROBERT’S REBELLION
The rebellion led by Robert Baratheon makes up the most immediate historical background to the show and is a logical place to start a spinoff. The different time period would need minimal introduction to fans of the main show, as we would already be familiar with most of the characters. We’ve heard so much about the Rebellion from so many different characters, but we haven’t seen the nuanced intimate ways that the politics and war played out.
On the other hand, because we know so much about Robert’s Rebellion it might lower the suspense and tension built into the show. We know that Jaime betrays the Mad King, Tywin tries to have the Targaryen children murdered, and Robert becomes King. However, there are several ways to build up more mystery for this telling.
Make Rhaegar Targaryen the main character. Just as the Starks are (one of) the main protagonists in the main show, a Roberts Rebellion spinoff could make the Targaryens the main POV characters. What really happened between Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark? How did the Targaryen family deal with the Mad King’s mental decay?
14 THE GHISCARI WARS
At the other end of the spectrum is the Ghiscari Wars, which happened thousands of years before and across the sea from the plot of the main series. In the ancient times, the Old Empire of Ghis ruled Essos, but came into conflict with the dragon riders of the Valyrian Freehold.
The first Ghiscari war was almost immediately after the Valyrians discovered and tamed the dragons. For many centuries, the Old Empire of Ghis and the Valyrian Freehold waged territorial war, sometimes joined by other smaller societies on both sides. Eventually, the Valyrian Freehold utterly destroyed the Old Empire of Ghis after the fifth Ghiscari war. Their dragons burned the Harpy's cities to ash, and the Ghiscari people were enslaved and their culture assimilated.
Honestly, who wouldn’t want to see series where legions of ancient, magical dragon riders do battle? The Valyrian Freehold is supposed to be the most advanced cultures that has ever existed in The World of Ice and Fire, and the Ghisacri wars were during their period of greatest expansion.
13 AEGON’S CONQUEST
Aegon's Conquest is a historical event that defines the current Westerosi calendar as Before Conquest and After Conquest. Instead of staying in Essos to try and rebuild or remake Valyrian society, Aegon Targaryen and his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys, along with their dragons, decided to conquer and unify the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
An Aegon’s Conquest spinoff would focus on the difficult choices made by the lords and ladies throughout the Seven Kingdoms when faced with tumultuous war and drastic change. Some of the kingdoms tried to ally with Aegon rather than submit, as he demanded. Others fought and lost. Dorne was the only kingdom that managed to resist Aegon and retain some independence.
In a spinoff, Aegon probably wouldn’t be the protagonist. Since, as far as we know, his only motivation was gaining power and fame, his character would be more similar to a bully analogous to the Lannisters in the main series. We would still need Aegon as a primary character, however, as there would be plenty of room to flesh out Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys-- the Conqueror and his sister wives.
12 THE PACT BETWEEN THE FIRST MEN AND THE CHILDREN
In the earliest histories of Westeros, during times lost to myth and legend, a diminutive humanoid race of magically forest-dwellers inhabited the land. Among themselves, they were called “those who sing the song of the earth.” To the First Men, who colonized the continent and pillaged the forests, they were called the Children.
The First Men burned and hewed the Children’s sacred Weirwood trees, and the Children fought back with magic and obsidian weapons. A spinoff like this could show us a truly mystical time, perhaps even from the perspective of the Children.
We could learn more about the mysterious race and their connection to magical elements. Also, after the shocking revelation in Game of Thrones season 6, we know that the Children created the White Walkers. Yet somehow, the Children and the First Men made the Pact and coexisted for thousands of years thereafter. Sounds like a story begging to be told.
11 YOUNG VARYS
Varys is a character whose past we know next to nothing about, but nevertheless has risen to be the Master of Whisperers for multiple Kings of Westeros and has shaped the course of many events in the main show. Varys has confided some of his more defining past experiences to Tyrion, but we still don’t know how he managed to rise up from such a low station and become so accomplished.
If details from the books are any guide, we could see Varys in the days immediately after his mutilation, when he lived as a street urchin in Pentons, thieving and prostituting. We could see him befriend the young sellsword Illyrio Mopatis, and see how they became the greatest two-man con in the Free Cities.
Apparently, Varys' reputation for handling information became so great that the Mad King personally invited Varys to be his spymaster late in his reign. One of the most dramatic arcs for the series could involve Varys' interests and motivations in trying to steer the Realm towards peace.
10 THE ANDAL INVASION
Throughout the main series, we’ve seen the distinction between the First Men and the Andals, usually demarcated between the vast North and all the other regions of the Seven Kingdoms. For thousands of years, the First Men were the only human culture on the continent... until the Andals came.
According to their own religion, the Faith of the Seven, the Andals were promised a new kingdom of prosperity in a distant land, which they deemed to be Westeros. With their emblazoned seven pointed stars and their weapons of steel, the Andals invaded Westeros and conquered petty king after petty king.
Some of the early lords of greater houses, like the Lannisters, Tullys, and Hightowers, managed to repel the Andals for several campaigns before succumbing or make peace with them by intermarriage. Dorne and the North managed to rebuff Andal conquest and influence.
With a spinoff such as this, we could get a sense of the origins of the two major Westerosi cultures when they were being tested and championed.
9 YOUNG MANCE RAYDER
Mance Rayder is the extraordinary man who was once a ranger of the Night’s Watch but went on to become “The King Beyond the Wall." However, before this, Mance Rayder was actually born among the Free Folk. After a group of raiders were killed by the Night’s Watch, Mance was found as a newborn babe and raised by the Watch.
With this kind of background, it isn't a surprise that Mance would become disillusioned with the Night’s Watch and go back to his true people. We know he eventually cast aside his black cloak and made a life for himself among the Free Folk, but we don’t know how he became so well respected that they anointed him as their king.
With a young Mance Rayder spinoff, we could get a much closer look at the various Free Folk cultures. Why do the Thenns hate the Hornfoots? Why does everyone hate the cave people? How did Mance specifically learn of the threat of the White Walkers, and convince the Free Folk that the threat was real?
8 THE LONG NIGHT
The White Walkers have always been the looming antagonists of the main series, growing more threatening with each season. Many fans expect a final confrontation against the White Walkers before Game of Thrones comes to an end, but what about the first appearance of the White Walkers? What was that like?
Eight-thousand years before Aegon the Conqueror set foot on the continent of Westeros, the First Men and the Children of the Forest had been living peacefully for hundreds of years since establishing the Pact. Neither were prepared for the arrival of the White Walkers, who emerged from the northernmost Lands of Always Winter.
The White Walkers slew all who stood before them with their frigid weapons and impervious bodies. As the long, deep winter crept to every corner of the world, the White Walkers raised the corpses of their victims as foot soldiers.
Only together, with weapons of Dragonglass, did the First Men and the Children finally repel the White Walkers and break the Darkness. Perhaps having a whole spinoff centered on them would cheapen the menace of the White Walkers, but witnessing such a dire, magical conflict first-hand would be epic.
7 NYMERIA’S WAR
During the rule of the Valyrian Freehold, one of the other major cultures in Essos was the Rhoynar. The Rhoynar dwelt along the banks of the Rhoyne river as fishers and traders until they were driven into exile by the Valyrian Dragonlords. Princess Nymeria of the Rhoynar led a migrant fleet of ten thousand ships across the Narrow Sea, eventually landing at the mouth of the Greenblood in southeastern Dorne.
At the time, Dorne was ruled by feuding petty kings much like the rest of Westeros. Nymeria decided that this was not how it should be. She burned her ships to ensure the Rhoynar would either win their new home in Dorne or die trying.
After marrying Lord Mors Martell, she led a long campaign to defeat and exile six would-be kings, each with lands and armies more powerful than hers at the outset. A Nymeria’s War spinoff could focus on this ambitious female lead, defining a pivotal moment in the history of one of Westeros’ most politically treacherous regions.
6 DUNK AND EGG STORIES
The King’s Landing street urchin called Duncan, nicknamed Dunk, only managed to escape a life of destitution and meaninglessness by becoming a squire to Ser Arlan of Pennytree. When his lord died on the way to a tourney at Ashford Meadow, Dunk donned his armor and took his place.
Before the tourney began, Dunk was approached by a bald boy called “Egg” who begged Dunk to make him his squire. Thus began the lifelong friendship of the would-be Sir Duncan the Tall, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and King Aegon V.
There has already been some nebulous, hesitant talk about adapting the Dunk and Egg stories into a Game of Thrones spinoff of some kind. The buddy adventures of Dunk and Egg amidst the politics and conflicts of the time would make sympathetic story arcs, as we watch these modest boys grow into wise, famous icons of their times.
5 AEGON THE UNLIKELY
The very same Egg who squired for Duncan the Tall would eventually become King of Westeros through some dubious circumstances. The previous Targaryen king, Maekar I, and his first two sons had died. All of Maekar’s other children and grandchildren were either unable or uninterested, including Aemon Targaryen, who would eventually become a Maester for the Night's Watch.
Aemon suggested at the time that his younger brother Egg should become king. Thus, as the fourth son of the fourth son of the previous king, Aegon V was crowned as Aegon the Unlikely.
His reign was long and mostly prosperous. He shared the wealth and resources of the royal family with the Realm during one particularly harsh winter, and enacted reforms to help the smallfolk. However, his reign was also fraught with uprisings, such as the Blackfyre rebellions. His political maneuverings through marriages were also sabotaged by his own children.
Wouldn’t it be a nice change of pace to see a decent king, who fans have read about since he was young, trying to do what’s best for the Realm and his family?
4 THE WAR OF THE NINEPENNY KINGS
The Band of Nine were a loose alliance of merchants, sellswords, and pirates led by Maelys Blackfyre. Maelys was the last in a line of the Blackfyre Pretenders, who had repeatedly risen in rebellion against the main Targaryen family.
Each of the leaders of Maelys' factions fashioned themselves kings of some sort, which led Prince Duncan Targaryen to quip that “crowns were being sold nine a penny.” When word of Maelys's forces massing at the Stepstones reached King’s Landing, Jaehaerys II Targaryen dispatched an elite host to squash the threat.
The best thing about a Ninepenny spinoff would be that we could get to know a bunch of characters, who are old players in the main series, in their prime. Brynden "the Blackfish" Tully and Tywin Lannister both fought for the royal forces as young knights in the War of the Ninepenny Kings. Ser Barristan Selmy also won great honors by killing Maelys Blackfyre in single combat.
3 YOUNG TYWIN LANNISTER
Tywin Lannister is one of the most compelling and consequential characters in the main series. From the moment he was introduced we could see how much sway he held over his family and the Seven Kingdoms. Under his guidance, House Lannister became the richest and most influential house in the Realm.
However, it was a tough road to get there. Tywin’s father Lord Tytos Lannister was weak-willed and eager to please others. Even though House Lannister was the Lord Paramount of the Westerlands, their vassal houses mocked Tytos behind his back or openly defied him.
Resolved to win back his House’s wealth and respect, Tywin circumvented his father and demanded his vassals make good on their debt, which he was prepared to enforce with his own loyal army. With a story focusing on a young Tywin, we could perhaps witness the ruthless events that inspired the ominous “Rains of Castamere” song. Or, even more tantalizing, we could see Tywin’s soft side, when he marries his wife Joanna and has his first two twins, Jaime and Cersei.
2 THE DOOM OF VALYRIA
The Valyrian Freehold ruled virtually all of Essos for centuries with their Dragonlords, gleaming cities, and powerful magic. Then one day, all of that splendor and power was snuffed out in a cataclysmic event of legendary proportions.
The Fourteen Flames volcanoes erupted, shooting fire and smoke for miles around. The ground fissured and exploded, and molten Dragonglass rained down from red clouds. The entire Valyrian Peninsula was broken into thousands of islands, some swallowed by the sea. No one knows exactly what caused the Doom of Valyria. Some say it was an entirely natural disaster, others believe the Valyrians’ own avarice or some nefarious intent was at play.
The collapse of the Valyrian Freehold plunged all of Essos into chaos and war. Several years before the Doom, Lord Aenar Targaryen relocated his family to Dragonstone, and thus his noble house escaped. He was urged to flee Valyria by his daughter, known as Daenerys the Dreamer, who was gripped by an intense prophetic dream foretelling Valyria’s destruction.
A series ending or starting with the Doom of Valyria could make for some great history.
1 THE DANCE OF DRAGONS
The Dance of Dragons was one of the most perilous points in the Targaryen Dynasty. Though the Targaryens had endured bitter succession disputes before, none had erupted into a civil war like the Dance of Dragons, which engulfed the Realm and decimated the Targaryen royal family. The war was between Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and her “blacks”, and King Aegon II Targaryen and his “greens”.
The Dance of Dragons is perhaps the most thoroughly detailed lore in the entire franchise. It is packed with legendary moments of ruthless politics, explosive battles, dumb luck, personal tribulations, and royal duels to the death on the backs of dragons.
There’s more than enough material to span several seasons if the spinoff was successful, and it could inspire its own fan engagement since it's one sibling pitted against another. Of all the possible spinoff material, the Dance of Dragons is arguably the most ready-made and exciting story.
Are there any other characters or stories from Game of Thrones lore that you would love to see in the spinoffs? Let us know in the comments!
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